Multiculturalism, Bigotry, Justified War, and More
Radio Q&A: 15 July 2012
I answered questions on multiculturalism and tolerance, speaking out against bigotry, acting out emotions versus acting on emotions, justified war, and more on 15 July 2012. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
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Segments: 15 July 2012
Question: What's wrong with multiculturalism? Many people think that "multiculturalism" just means being tolerant of people with different cultural practices than your own. Is that right? What is multiculturalism? What are some examples of it? What's wrong with it, if anything?
Answer, In Brief: A person can and should value a multicultural society while rejecting the destructive collectivist ideology of multiculturalism.
Question: When should a person speak up against bigotry? My boyfriend and I were at a party at the home of one of his coworkers. One person at the party started using offensive homophobic slurs, so I asked him not to use that kind of language. He persisted, and the conversation escalated into an argument. My boyfriend did not take a position, and he later said he "didn't want to get involved" and that it had been "none of my business" to stick my neck out against the bigot. I believe that silence implies acceptance. Though there may not be a moral obligation to intervene, it still seems like the right thing to do. What is the moral principle behind this? Is it important enough to end a relationship over?
Answer, In Brief: A person need not – and sometimes should not – dive into an argument over bigotry, but he should not passively accept or tolerate it either. In most cases, a person can register an objection, and if the bigotry persists, extract himself.
Question: What's the difference between acting on emotions and acting out emotions? Emotions sometimes cry out for bodily expression, such as hitting something when you're angry. Is "acting out emotions" in that way a form of emotionalism? How is it different, if at all, from acting on emotions?
Answer, In Brief: Emotions often require some form of bodily expression, but a person should use his reason to judge what's appropriate, rather than simply indulging emotions without thought.
Question: When would a free society go to war? What would the attitude of a rights-respecting country be toward war? How would wars be funded and manned? Is isolationism or interventionism the proper approach?
Answer, In Brief: War, hellish though it is, is justified to protect citizens from invasion, terrorism, and other external threats to rights.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:11:38)
- On your show about personalities you mostly talked about people who are high in a specific DISC type, what about people who are rather low in their type?
- I enjoyed your show about DISC, could proximity be a factor in dominance? (I'm not so dominant face-to-face, but I am online.)
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.